A new era of research: Unbridled Antarctica. They heard about the wild winds that whipped ice Queen Maud Land. But a group of hard-core climbers finally received more than expected. In my tent outside rumbling sounds more like an earthquake, but as the wind.
Instinctively wince and suck deeper into the sleeping bag. Even before I met with a terrible wind: his howling at night in the Himalayas or the terrifying roar Patagonian storm. This is worse.
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The ground shakes and the next gust of wind rushes toward me. The tent I was tied between two walls in a lifeless wilderness deep in the mountains Voltat in Antarctica. My trio partners have found shelter nearby. Eighty kilometers to the south edge of the polar plateau, vast icy plateau that dominates the interior of the continent. Geography and gravitational forces here are teaming up to launch a strong katabatic winds – dense waves of cold air rushing mountain ridges formed as a series of avalanches that descend steeply to the sea.
Runs into the next attack. Bars tent bend inward, twisting the fabric over my sleeping bag. For a moment I hear the tearing seams like bursts and suddenly spinning, flying through the air, turned upside down. I’m still always in a tent, but the wind picked up and tossed on the rough stone wall I built to protect, and then transferred him to the wall. Books, cameras and equipment, dirty socks – all rushing around the tent. Down feathers fluttering from sleeping bags.
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In my neck and shoulders pulsating. Crawling toward rip the tent, grab the fabric and param is to expand the hole. Coarse sand carried by the wind stings my eyes when I pushed her head out of the tent and cry out, “Help!”
Going to Antarctica
Going to Antarctica was the idea of Mother Lubeck. The 40-year-old California surfer alike and furious adventurer. Luebeck is engaged in a dozen first ascents on peaks around the world. A tall, quiet, blond hair streaked with gray, he tirelessly emits positive energy. “I was already there,” he told us about the Queen Maud Land, where you usually frequented only scientists. “I have the keys to the castle.”
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Lubeck also invited two experienced climbers Photographer: Keith Ladzinski from Colorado and Cory Richards from Utah. We planned to find out in this area with the highest concentration of peaks to which no one has gone up, and then to first get to them as to how we dared.
The journey we started in early November, the sletevši of blue ice runway near the Russian research station Novolazarevskaja. “When I was last here,” he said about his visit to Luebeck eight years ago, “I peeled the potatoes in the kitchen to pay my way.” Station manager greeted us with a bottle of homemade plum brandy. Accommodation is in an industrial style, or cells as it is imbued with a sense of purpose lucky, that unites the local crew, from research teams to the kitchen staff and mechanics.
“There are no victims, no car crashes and no bullets,” says Benjamin Novikov with a cup of tea in the canteen. Novikov is a retired surgeon from St. Petersburg, and there is a doctor on duty. “We live here alone, faced with the forces of nature, and all behave properly. Their families say that we are here for the money. In fact, we fled here. “
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Five days we waited until the storm beat at the camp. On the sixth day, we have the equipment on board the refurbished DC-3 and leave the Russians. Finally in the air, the four of us to push forward and look through the windows in the cockpit. Dark front wall stretches to the horizon. As we approach what appeared to be a monolithic wall is revealed as a series of mountain ranges, huge stone which divides intersect system glaciers flowing from the polar plateau. They appear high steep cliffs and towers sharpened like needles. Kameni tooth that rises to the left of us looks familiar: it is the rocky peak that Lubeck has photographed a few years ago. We found its target.
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Like the huge teeth of the wind-carved stone top was no snow. The wall above our camp, facing northwest, covered with red blotches winding and mysterious incisions. On the left side, facing east – and exposed to the wind – the wall was like a gray marble, rounded and smooth as the fuselage of an aircraft carrier. The two entities are merged into the rock sharp edges directed towards the right to the north. We can only guess how high the top of the foot to the mountains perhaps 600 meters, maybe more.
While I’m standing beneath it, my blood pulsing with excitement. This is the very thing we came – an opportunity to carry out the first ascent of this unearthly landscape. We have already tasted spratabatički wind on flat ground. What will happen if these winds returning while we up on the wall? Of course, Luebeck immediately wants to climb.
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The strategy was to Richards, Luebeck and I put ropes for climbing from the bivouac on a projection wall at about two-thirds of the climb, and let us Ladzinski photographed from below. But the wind had fought against us at every step, but it took us two weeks just to get to the projections.
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“When will the lower floor tonight?” He asked jokingly. Our bivouac, a compound of tents and child’s bed, attached to the wall, and there’s only room for two, so you must spend a night outside in a sleeping bag is its only protection. Flattest piece of ground is one recess just a few centimeters away from the abyss. I sighed and reporting.
The next three days we progressed slowly, attaching ropes to the rocky summit and returned to the bivouac each night. We knew how much we have presented here, if the door relentless wind. In ten years of climbing I have never lost a tent in a storm, but on this trip we lost three: two buried in snow, and the third turned upside down when I was lying in it. Luebeck ripped me out of the shelter when he heard my call for help, and while I laugh.
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Now that we’re running out of time, Luebeck asked to listen to while chewing their portion of cheese for dinner. “You know, my grandmother always said that the time is now,” he says. “I inherited it from her. We knew that we ask ourselves: ‘Grandma Berta, what time is it?’, And she would always reply: ‘It’s right now!’ “
With luck, he says, we could quickly get to the finish line.
The next morning it was my turn to lead. As I was going up the rope to the place where we left off yesterday, hanging from the wall, which is above us, about 500 meters from the ground. Luebeck kept my rope, ready to stop if I fall. Gloved fingers I was looking for the best strongholds and made the first cautious steps forward on the vertical wall. I’d reached the top, I had to cross the most exposed part of the wall.
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“Look out for me – it’s getting weird,” I said Lubeck, reaching for a series of cracks that I looked promising. Suddenly, the wind rushed past me, pulling a rope between the two of us. If we’ve learned anything here, it is that a sudden gust of wind may occur at any time, even during the most beautiful days. Overcomes his doubts and getting me water leaked through the bumps and through the unexpected flat panels, up to the sky.
The peak slender tower, which we later named Bertin top, the wall is in the shape of mushrooms, the size of the room table. I stand on it, and far below you see the yellow speck of his tent. In the other direction Fortress gore blood-red glow in the evening light. The sky overhead is cloudy, and the air unexpectedly calm. Everything in this wilderness – glaciers, rocky peaks and the space between them – showed a much greater challenge than we expected. However, we are four of us faced all. The wind can trap, I thought, and may you and free. I turned once more around and enjoyed the silence.
This is the first rewrite Freddie Wilkinson